When There Are No Answers
“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” — Zora Neale Hurston
It really is a little frustrating to consider how long it’s taking to get back into my groove. I’m still crazy tired, remain in stitches (though I’m not laughing), swollen, sore and without the energy to even consider where my get-up-and-go has relocated. I know it hasn’t even been a week. I’m petulant. I don’t care. This place I’m sitting in feels like really thick pea soup and I don’t even like pea soup. At about this point in my kvetching I begin to talk to myself (needless to say the tone is harsh and very imperious – you don’t argue with a voice like that). In effect she says, “Will you just knock it the hell off? So what? You’re uncomfortable? Get in line and in the interim, puleeze shut up.” And I do.
In the span of time that I have assumed the position of a lump, so much has been happening around me that perhaps my absence of movement is by universal design. Someone’s heart is aching with the uncertainty that comes with self-doubt and fear of loss; another prepares for a familial re-arrangement that will demand her energy and facility with the emotional bob-and-weave. One friend works to rebuild her family’s factory post-Sandy, ending each day more exhausted and spent than the day before, knowing full well that tomorrow the day begins again. And another story is beginning as an amazing soul works to establish herself in a new position which combines her tremendous talent with her equally impressive sense of aesthetic. I see a person I care about being forced to consider new employment for reasons which make an ethical retired HR exec break out in hives. No one is curled up on the couch right now, covered up in the deliciously soft and worn blanket with the embroidered words “just be”.
My friends are caught in various stages of the years that pose the queries. Some perhaps are closer to answers than others. And if there is one thing that we all share it is the need to embrace the times when we just don’t know, when the answers are elusive (perhaps because we’re asking the wrong questions), and the only option available is to keep asking. Keep being uncomfortable. Wonder, doubt, assert, withdraw, huddle, hide – and ask. Now is not the time to stop asking, for closure without answers that feel good in your skin, is no closure at all. Learning to love the questions is a little like learning to love being out of balance. Out of balance means that you can grab for something to keep you from falling without having to hold onto it forever. Out of balance means that you see the world with the perception needed to focus on one thing – and perhaps seeing it with the most exquisite clarity. Out of balance means that you are exercising the emotional muscles that have to be toned to keep you upright, albeit shakily. Love the questions as much as you seek the answers. They must be posed – this is their time.
I too am asking questions all the time — from the mundane (why can’t they just find out what is taking up real estate in my jaw) to the more complicated (what is my next dance step? what music feels right? what am I waiting for?). This is the time and I am not shying away from the exercise. Yes, it makes my heart beat faster, tears fall with a little less censorship and sometimes I’m sure that I am jumping out of my skin. And then I focus on an enormous blue jay holding a twig of crepe myrtle in its mouth, knowing with certainty he’s off to build a future. Aren’t we all?[youtube.com/watch?v=EcH6rHAH43w]